News

A Tunnel to the Twilight Zone

Last year, researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the Applied Physics Lab at the University of Washington (UW) discovered that when white sharks are ready to feast, they ride large, swirling ocean currents known as eddies to fast-track their way to the ocean twilight zone—a layer of the ocean between 200 and 1000 meters…

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Once More Into the Twilight Zone

Deep-See deployment

On July 25, scientists embarked on the 2019 Ocean Twilight Zone expedition aboard NOAA Ship  Henry B. Bigelow. A team made up of WHOI and NOAA Fisheries researchers departed Newport, R.I., Thursday morning and headed south towards the edge of the continental shelf. This will be the first full scientific mission into the ocean twilight…

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Mesobot Dives into the Twilight Zone for the First Time

Mesobot using red light in a test tank

The newly developed deep sea robot, Mesobot, dove down to 300m for the first time last week during a successful test and evaluation cruise off Monterey Bay. Mesobot is designed to let scientists observe the twilight zone by autonomously tracking individual animals for hours or even days without disturbing the environment or disrupting their behavior.

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Fish with Flashlights

Sloan viper fish

Down in the dark and shadowy mesopelagic layer of the ocean, countless species—bristlemouths, lanternfishes, jellies, and others—have a natural ability to generate their own light through chemical reactions. Most twilight zone animals produce blue light—the color that penetrates the farthest through seawater—but some also produce flashes of red, yellow, and green. Collectively, the lights form…

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Bringing Light into Darkness

Floating jelly

Oceanographers studying creatures in the ocean twilight zone are facing an optical dilemma. They need to observe the fish in order to study them, but at ocean depths of 200 meters and beyond, there’s very little natural light trickling down from the surface. This means that submersibles developed to image and track these animals need to be…

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New Cooperative Institute to Boost Twilight Zone Exploration

On May 6, WHOI announced it would be joining a $94 million consortium led by the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography to support ocean exploration, responsible resource management, improved scientific understanding of the deep sea and strengthen the nation’s Blue Economy. The goal of the new Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute, which includes…

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A New Paradigm for Funding Ocean Science

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is embarking on a journey to explore and understand one of our planet’s last hidden frontiers—the ocean twilight zone (OTZ), a shadowy region far below the ocean’s sunlit surface. The OTZ project is WHOI’s first major research initiative supported by a new, disruptive funding model: The Audacious Project.

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The Twilight Zone Begins to Materialize at the UN High Seas Negotiations

Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction second session at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. From left to right; Kristina Gjerde, Porter Hoagland, Aria Ritz Finkelstein, Harriet Harden-Davies, Jane Collins, Torsten Thiele, Muriel Rabone By Aria Ritz Finkelstein Senior Research Specialist at the WHOI Marine Policy Center, Dr. Porter Hoagland, and his student Aria Ritz Finkelstein…

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An opportunity to explore a new place

Heidi Sosik enters the ocean in manned submersible

Highlights from the latest Ocean Twilight Zone Project cruise to the Bahamas Ocean Twilight Zone Project Lead Scientist, Heidi Sosik, descends for her first time in a Triton manned submersible to experience the twilight zone in person. “It was so incredible to see the ocean twilight zone up close and personal.” – Dr. Heidi Sosik…

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